The Sexual Side Effects Of Suboxone

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on January 21, 2023

Suboxone may cause sexual side effects such as low libido, lack of sexual desire, and erectile dysfunction in men.

Suboxone (the brand name for the combination of naloxone and buprenorphine) is a Schedule III controlled substance that may create a number of sexual side effects.

Suboxone treatment is used to help those suffering from opioid dependence. Despite this positive aspect of the drug, Suboxone can create serious side effects and be abused as well.

Before taking Suboxone, consult the medical advice of your healthcare provider as serious sexual side effects can take place.

Sexual Side Effects Of Suboxone

There are some general sexual side effects of Suboxone that may affect both men and women. These consist of sexual dysfunction and loss of interest in sex. Despite some similarities, the sexual side effects in men and women have several differences.

Sexual Side Effects Of Suboxone In Men

Several studies show that serious sexual dysfunction sometimes occurs in men being treated with opioid maintenance therapy. In fact, male patients may experience difficulties in erectile function after opioid use.

However, research on the sexual side effects of buprenorphine and naloxone is limited.

Men who take Suboxone and struggle with sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation are likely safe to combine Suboxone with Viagra, a medication used to help prevent erectile dysfunction.

Additionally, men’s testosterone levels may change when Suboxone is taken. Men may struggle with low testosterone which can impact sperm count, making it difficult for couples to conceive.

Sexual Side Effects Of Suboxone In Women

Although the prevalence of sexual dysfunction in women is lower than that of men when opioid use occurs, women may experience sexual side effects. In fact, women may have a lack of sexual desire and low libido if they take Suboxone.

The sexual function of women can be impaired while taking opioids, potentially resulting in painful orgasms. Orgasmic dysfunction may take place as well.

How Suboxone Abuse Impacts Quality Of Life & Sexual Health

Those who participate in Suboxone abuse may suffer from substance use disorder or opioid addiction. Abusing Suboxone can impact the quality of life and sexual life of partners.

For instance, a person may choose to stop abusing Suboxone and receive buprenorphine maintenance treatment. However, sexual dysfunction can continue throughout the recovery process.

General Side Effects Of Suboxone

Suboxone combines buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist with the opioid antagonist naloxone. The drug affects the opioid receptors in the brain, affecting the central nervous system (CNS) and creating sedation. 

These feelings of euphoria may be accompanied by sexual side effects and a number of other effects which range in severity.

Common Side Effects Of Suboxone

In addition to the sexual side effects which take place, some of the other side effects a person can experience from Suboxone, according to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • sedation
  • loss of appetite
  • constipation

Serious Side Effects Of Suboxone

Some of the more serious side effects and dangers to be aware of when taking Suboxone include adverse effects, allergic reactions, and withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable and lead to relapse. Some of these symptoms include tremors, irritability, and cravings for the drug.

Additionally, an opioid-induced overdose can take place. Symptoms of a Suboxone overdose consist of respiratory depression and fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure. Taking Suboxone in any way other than as prescribed is a form of drug abuse.

If you suspect an overdose has taken place, contact 911.

Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states those struggling with opioid use disorder may require medication-assisted treatment (MAT) or other opioid treatment programs.

However, if you’ve been previously unsuccessful at Suboxone treatment, you may try methadone maintenance treatment as well as other treatment services like behavioral therapy, 12-step support groups, and mental health counseling.

For information on how we treat opioid addiction, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today.

  1. Food and Drug Administration — Suboxone
  2. Indian Journal of Psychiatry — Sexual dysfunction in men on buprenorphine – naloxone-based substitution therapy
  3. International Journal of Medical Sciences — Treatments of Sexual Dysfunction in Opioid Substitution Therapy Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
  4. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment — Sexual Adverse Effects and Erectile Dysfunction During Buprenorphine/Naloxone Combination Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders
  5. The Ochsner Journal — Suboxone: Rationale, Science, Misconceptions
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — Buprenorphine

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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